Who Qualifies For Canadian Citizenship?

To become a Canadian citizen, individuals must meet certain requirements outlined by the Canadian government.

Here is a summary of the key requirements, which are subject to change.

Permanent Resident Status

To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must first be a permanent resident of Canada. This means you have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for a specified period of time, usually three out of the five years preceding your application. There may be exceptions for individuals who were temporary residents (e.g., students or refugees) before becoming permanent residents.

Physical Presence

You must have physically been in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) out of the last 5 years before applying for citizenship. This requirement helps demonstrate your commitment to residing in Canada.

Income Tax Filing

You must have filed your income taxes for at least 3 years within the 5-year period, matching the years you were a permanent resident. This ensures that you have met your tax obligations to the Canadian government.

Language Requirements

Most adult applicants (aged 18-54) must demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French. This typically involves taking a language test, such as the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for English, or the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) for French.

Citizenship Test

You may need to take a citizenship test to assess your knowledge of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols. The test is usually conducted in English or French and is based on the official study guide “Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.”

Criminal History

Applicants with certain criminal convictions or who are facing criminal charges may not be eligible for Canadian citizenship. It’s important to have a clean record and not be inadmissible to Canada for criminal reasons.

Intent to Reside

You must intend to live in Canada, work outside of Canada for the Canadian government, or be a Crown servant or member of the Canadian Armed Forces when you become a citizen.

Knowledge of Canada

You should have knowledge and understanding of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols, as demonstrated in the citizenship test.

Application and Fees:

You need to complete the Canadian citizenship application (form CIT 0002) and pay the required processing fees. The fee for adults is $630, and for minors (under 18) is $100.


Applications are submitted to the citizenship office in Sydney, Nova Scotia where they are pre-screened to ensure the application is complete and the 3-year residence rule has been met. Applicants will be required to attend an interview to demonstrate their knowledge of Canada in one of Canada’s official languages.